Today's special guest is debut novelist Eileen Schuh. Today she's going to share some of what she's learned about marketing books. Take it away, Eileen!
Measuring the effectiveness of promotional efforts
One can’t measure the success of one’s promotional efforts simply by sales—although one wouldn’t want to put a lot of money and effort into publicity activities that don’t net sales, results are often far from direct and take time to appear.
I started my publicity campaign back before I even had a book to sell. With the help of Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s book marketing services, I established a strong cyberspace presence with a blog, a website, and Facebook and twitter accounts. I joined writers’ groups, participated in online discussions and forums, posted book reviews, and researched all aspects and angles of the writing and publishing industry.
Even before that, though, I was campaigning. I was always actively engaged in multiple facets of family, education, and community life. I travelled, joined sports teams, engaged in activities with my children and their friends (and the parents of those friends.) I volunteered.
Specific to marketing The Traz, in addition to my social networking notices, I sent out press releases about THE TRAZ. I spent the time to locate the contact information for the media in my home town and my former home towns.
The very next day, the local radio station emailed me for a phone interview. What a wonderful bit of free advertising that was!
Perhaps a week later, I was asked to read the book written by an infamous serial killer’s defence lawyer and interview the author—not sure how that happened. Crime fiction is what I write. True Crime is what I read and this was a great opportunity to get my name associated with important people in the industry—especially when the book proved to be well-written, interesting, and unique.
I forwarded Smashwords coupons for free copies of THE TRAZ to those I’d met during my community sojourns who also happen to work with at-risk-children (including the commanding officer of the local RCMP detachment. A little brazen, perhaps, but he’d expressed interest in my career when I’d handed him my business card in regards to a totally different matter.)
Through my Special Education contact, I found out the local school is instituting a learning e-café and wrangled an invitation to slounge there come September and read passages from my books. What a wonderful chance to not only promote my book sales but to meet my other goal of directly helping kids-at-risk and the adults in their lives.
My municipal library contacts have assured me of purchases and will advertise a reading and signing event once the paper editions of my books are released. I’ve been tentatively invited to participate in sci-fi conferences (one in Denver) to promote Schrodinger’s Cat. These opportunities may seem to have come along for free, but they are in actuality the results of my promotional efforts—personal efforts, paid efforts, and professional efforts.
I’m one to try new things and when I connected on Twitter with Pauline Barclay, an author blogger in the UK http://paulinembarclay.blogspot.com , we decided to swap guest blogs and attempt to tap into each other’s overseas markets—a promotional strategy that will cost us nothing (but time) and has the possibility of rewarding us greatly.
Another thing I did was forward coupons for free copies of THE TRAZ to authors and reviewers well-known in their fields. These Smashwords coupons don’t cost me anything, so they’re DEFINITELY my kind of promo! I’ve been astounded at the positive blurbs and reviews that I’m receiving. Again, having my name and work associated with others who are successful in this career is a bonus.
Promotion is time consuming. It’s a slow process. Results are slow to appear. But the most unexpected and wonderful opportunities can and do at times rapidly appear.
The radio station’s news director interviewing me? Me interviewing a serial killer’s lawyer? A guest blog in Europe? Doing a reading to teens from a lounger in an e-café?
Can life get any better?
p.s. I take my coffee black.
Author of THE TRAZ and SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT
To sample/buy THE TRAZ: